Hundreds Ignore Police Warnings and Flock to Beach Despite Covid-19 Fears

Belfast Live 2020 UK

Hundreds of people flocked to a Co Down beach on Monday despite Covid-19 fears.

People have been pictured within close proximity of each other at the seafront enjoying the warm weather.

The scene at Crawfordsburn Beach in Bangor on Monday comes days after the PSNI warned against gathering in large crowds at beauty spots here.

It is understood that the members of the PSNI arrived on the scene this afternoon.

It follows a similar incident in Fermanagh today, where police said "almost a 100 young people were moved on" from the Muckross area earlier.

The incident follows a series of mass gatherings at beauty spots here over the weekend

Alliance MLA, Andrew Muir, said: "Whilst relaxed regulations permit travel to re-opened beaches and beauty spots with rights come responsibilities to ensure social distancing is maintained and areas not overwhelmed by influx of visitors.

"I would urge everyone of all ages to think twice before flocking to popular destinations.

"It's overwhelming neighbourhoods and stretching valuable resources of police and other public agencies.

"The current deluge of visitors must stop. With many of the crowd at Crawfordsburn Beach young people the issue of parental responsibility must be considered.

"The scenes I witnessed were very concerning and ought not to be repeated. Police and Translink have deployed significant contingent of personnel but should not have to contend with such behaviour which is extremely difficult to control due to the numbers involved."

The latest outrage comes after Stormont leaders hit out at those attending mass gatherings at the weekend.

A number of concerns were raised after it emerged that a police officer was allegedly kicked in the face during trouble at Ballyholme Beach on Friday night.

Alex Easton, DUP MLA for the area, added: "So saddened to see that social distancing is just not being listened to by a small minority.

"If this keeps up we could be heading back to lockdown.

"Urgent action and resources needs to be given to the PSNI to deal with this flaunting of the safety guidelines."